The Journey of Beethoven’s Hair

Ludwig van Beethoven died on Monday, March 26, 1827. The day after his death, a fifteen-year-old boy by the name of Ferdinand Hiller stood distraught next to his teacher, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, gazing at the lifeless face of his hero. With a pair of scissors he cut off a lock of Beethoven’s greying hair and placed it carefully in a white handkerchief. And therein begins the story of Beethoven’s hair, journeying through the nineteenth century and eluding the Nazi turmoil of the twentieth century, so beautifully researched and written by Russell Martin in his book Beethoven’s Hair. Today, the relic…

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